By Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
One of the surprise appointments made by Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde in recent times, would certainly be that of Ms Julian Ifeoma Nwachukwu, the Liaison Officer for Ibadan North Federal Constituency.
Hails from Nsukka, Enugu State but born and brought up in Ibadan, Oyo State, the grassroot politician, seen as calm in her disposition, gentle in her mien but carry steel inside of her, make her impact felt in the politics of Ibadan North Local Government in particular and Oyo State in general.
Nwachukwu started her politics fourteen year ago, pitched her tent with the All Nigeria Peoples Party. It was in the ANPP she had an opportunity to meet her political mentor, the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde and both of them started working together, political wise since then.
Nonetheless, Nwachukwu was among the foot soldiers that worked tirelessly in Ibadan North Local Government during 2007 general election. As a result of this, the ANPP produced the two honorable members of the Oyo state assembly in persons of Abiodun Awoleye and late Olatunde Jinadu.
During the time, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi contested governorship election on the platform of ANPP and lost to Otunba Alao Akala of the Peoples Democratic Party. After the 2007 election, she along with others, including Engr. Makinde defected to the PDP. Since then, she’s always been found in the camp of Seyi Makinde’s political family.
In 2014, when the governorship ambition of Seyi Makinde suffered a setback in the PDP, and he (Makinde) defected to Social Democratic Party, Nwachukwu did not hesitate to follow suit and moved with her political mentor.
Her loyalty and commitment to Makinde’s camp since fourteen years ago has never waned. Nwachukwu told Westernlifenews in an interview that this must have earned her the positions of the Secretary of Ibadan North Local Government while in SDP and Women Leader in the PDP.
On her recent appointment as the Liaison Officer of the Governor to the Ibadan North Federal Constituency, Nwachukwu said “My loyalty and commitment to the party and the Governor must have been considered, to land me the appointment. As an Ibo woman, I didn’t expect that I could be rewarded with such an important position in Oyo state”.
Narrating how she felt when she heard about her new appointment, Nwachukwu, who expressed gratitude to Governor Makinde for appointing her, said she least expected her appointment at the time it came.
“I received a call from Governor’s office, to come to the office of the Secretary to State Government. On getting, I introduced myself, then I was told me that I have an appointment letter and that I should go and bring my curriculum vitae.
“It was just like a dream to me, because as an Ibo woman, I never believe that I could be offered such an appointment. I was shedding a tear of joy”.
“In my bewilderment, I called one of my leaders, Alhaji Wasiu Adeleke, the State Secretary of our party, and told him “what I just heard”. He simply told me to go and do what they asked from me and go back to the place. The rest is now history”.
In response to the question on how would succeed on her new task, Nwachukwu, who has lived all her life in Ibadan city said her knowledge of the nooks and cranny of Ibadan, most especially Ibadan North would make the task easy for her, since .
But what has been the steps taken so far since her appointment, she said “Having set out my goals, I have embarked on familiarisation visits to some stakeholders in all the communities of the federal constituency, though it is not what I can finish in days, as I still need to meet many community and political leaders for interactions. I hope by the first week of January, I should be able to do more of interacting with
“I will have to meet them, to know their needs and feedback His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde as he had directed me and other Liaison Officers”
Nwachukwu commended the efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde led administration, saying it has performed beyond expectations.
She lauded the leadership quality of Governor Makinde, who she described as a God fearing, honest, and compassionate, and also praising the governor’ display of integrity, confidence and flexibility.
“Governor Makinde is a straight forward person, whenever he says something and fully convinced about it, he does it. What is not good, Governor Makinde would not do it. It would be rare to produce such a governor in the state after he might have finished his eight year tenure”.
On a particular project she would suggest to the governor, to urgently do for Ibadan North Federal Constituency, Nwachukwu opined that her federal constituency needs several projects but singled out the provision of a centralised Primary Health Care Centre and a model car park for Bodija Market.
We want a comprehensive and big Primary Health Centre to serve the whole Ibadan North Federal constituency, equip with drugs and adequate and competent personnel. Also, I would suggest a standard motor park in Bodija Market, to serve as car park to customers and marketers. You know Bodija market is a big market in Oyo State”, she said.